A professor at the University of Connecticut is concerned that too few American women feel oppressed.
In an academic study first highlighted by Toni Airaksinen of Campus Reform, UConn Professor Cristina Mogro-Wilson expressed her dismay over the lack of young females who don’t feel that they are oppressed in American society.
Mogro-Wilson conducted a study of 118 students, 94 percent of which were female, who are part of a Masters in Social Work program. According to the survey, a vast majority of respondents said that they don’t believe “discrimination and subordination” are “salient issues in women’s lives.”
At the conclusion of her study, Mogro-Wilson reflects on the findings. She makes clear that the respondent’s overwhelming responses did nothing to open her eyes to the reality she may personally overestimate the level of oppression experienced by American women. Instead, she argues that the results of the survey indicate that American women need to be better educated on the issues that they face in society today.
Our findings suggest that students support gender role parity and feminist goals, but that they are less likely to recognize discrimination against women and the need for collective action. This study indicates that there may be reason for a more expansive inclusion of feminism in social work education particularly around current and historical forms of gender-based discrimination as well as the role of collective action in gaining gender equality. Addressing these issues in social work education could result in an MSW student population that is more knowledgeable about gender-based discrimination and, importantly, about how to collectively act to address gender inequality.
Some might suggest that Mogro-Wilson’s argument that the female respondents need to be educated on female issues is sexist because it implies that these women aren’t able to come to their own conclusions about their status in modern society.